Pádraic Maher revealed that the Tipperary players were expecting to perform to a high level in Croke Park on Sunday. The Thurles Sarsfields star could sense it from the form of his playing colleagues in training.
“You can sense it in training,” Pádraic Maher explained.
“We knew that we were capable of a big performance. We didn’t want Cork to get a run on us especially with the quality of forwards that they have. That was a good thing from us today, that we kept our foot on the pedal. We were very disappointed to give away the goal there in the end, but if that’s all that we are giving out about today then it’s not too bad.”
Overall Tipperary were excellent in defence with the midfield combination of Shane McGrath and James Woodlock working hard to support the half-back line and wing-forward’s like Gearóid Ryan dropping deep to help out at every opportunity.
“That’s why it was so disappointing to give away that goal,” Pádraic Maher agreed.
“We were playing very well there as a unit. Everyone was covering for each other and the midfield were magnificent as well covering back. It’s an absolutely great feeling today, but we have to knuckle back down now and get back in there on Tuesday.”
Pádraic Maher, who was named as the RTÉ The Sunday Game’s man of the match, was eager to highlight the contribution of goalkeeper Darren Gleeson to Tipperary’s 38th win over the Rebels.
“I was delighted for him. He made a few good saves. When you are so far ahead some people might tune out, but he stayed tuned in and made a few vital saves there. I was delighted for him. He was waiting there in the wings for the last few years, but he had Brendan Cummins in front of him,” Pádraic Maher explained.
“He got his chance this year and he has taken it. People threw a lot of criticism at him during the last few weeks because we conceded goals, but he wasn’t at fault for any of them. It was great to see him put in a performance like that today.”
“You always have to be on your toes,” Pádraic Maher said with a smile as he considered Darren Gleeson’s ability to pick out a man in the smallest pocked of space.
“Your man could only be a couple of yards away from you and he could still give it to you. That’s the confidence that he has and that flows up through a team.”